The quieter you become the more you can hear ~ Ram Dass



Friday, August 31, 2012

Mary #24

If anyone does Saturday Centus you might somewhat remember this story started as a centus.  In  June of 2010, I wrote a few chapters on Mary and then stopped.  I had so much to write about her, writing weekly for centus wasn't enough.  I then wrote and wrote until I had over 30,000 words so far.  In writing it though as I got further and further my original premise somehow got blown out of the water, ha, ha. I stopped writing her story in March of 2011.   I still haven't quite figured out how I'm going to work this out but I thought I would put out what I have so far.   Please remember this is a really rough draft and when I wrote it, I had no chapters.  Before I decided to put this on the blog I had to go back and figure out where I could make them.  I would suggest this is a terrible way of doing it lol.  The first chapter started on March 23rd, 2012.


24

Mary got to the hospital and parked her car.  She went to the desk and asked where ICU was.  She went in the elevator to the 4th floor.  When she got out she noticed the waiting room.  She could see Jimmy and Elizabeth sitting there.  She studied Elizabeth for a minute.  She still had that same beautiful long blond hair but she seemed thinner.  She also looked very tired.  Mary walked into the waiting room and said "Elizabeth?” 

Elizabeth looked up, ran to Mary and hugged her.  

"What are you doing here" she asked. 

"I was in the neighborhood and I heard about Mitch and I thought I'd come by.  I brought you this.”   

Mary handed her the prayer shawl. 

Elizabeth smiled and put the shawl on but then started feeling faint.  Mary and Jimmy helped her to a seat.
 
"I'm fine you two.  It's probably just all the stress the last couple of days over Mitch.  Jimmy why don't you go home and be with Donna?  Mary's here now, she can keep me company when I can't be in with Mitch.” 

"Are you sure?” 

"Yeah, we'll be fine Jimmy.  I don't have to be anywhere.  I can sit with Elizabeth all day and night if need be.” 

He got up and kissed Mary on the cheek.  Next, he went over to Elizabeth and gave her a hug.  

"Jimmy, I don't know what I would have done without you the last few days.”

"Call me if you two need anything.  Otherwise, I'll see you tomorrow.”  He headed off to the elevator and they watched him go in.

"How is Mitch doing?” 

"Not well.  They're going to give him another day to see some improvement.  It was one thing being in the coma but then having the heart attack on top of it.  They really aren't giving me much hope.  They said I might have to think about taking him off the ventilator.” 

"Oh no" Mary said.  "You look exhausted, Elizabeth". 

"I am.  Did Jimmy tell you my other news about the breast cancer?”

"Yes, he told me, I'm so sorry.”

“Yeah, me too, who would have thought someone my age would be diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer right off the bat.  I felt this lump a while ago and they kept saying let's watch it.  Apparently, we watched it too long.”

"What was wrong with those doctor's.  They should know that younger women can get breast cancer.  It makes me so angry.” 

"It made me angry too but I had to let that go.  I don't know how much time I have left and there's no sense being angry over something I can't change.  I really love the prayer shawl.  That's what this is, right?” 

"You guessed it.” 

"So, you got religion since you left?” 

Mary chuckled "I always had religion.  I just never had Church going religion.  I still remembered all my vacation bible school prayers and I used those while I knitted.”

"It's beautiful Mary and the fact that your prayed over it, makes it that more special to me" and she gave Mary a hug.

Elizabeth looked at the clock and said, "I can go in and see Mitch now for a half hour.  Do you want to come with me?” 

Mary said "Sure, let's go.”  

They got up and went in.  Mary was a little shocked and felt faint when she saw Mitch. 

Elizabeth went right up to Mitch gave him a kiss and said, "Look who came to visit you.  My long lost best friend, Elizabeth" as she pulled a chair to sit down next to the bed. 

Mary went up to the bed and said, "Hi Mitch.” 

Elizabeth looked at Mary and could see she was turning pale and said, "Are you okay, Mary?” 

"Well, to tell you the truth, I feel a little warm.” 

"Why don't you go get some water and sit in the waiting room and I'll be out in a little while.”

“Okay” Mary said. 

Mary barely made it to the waiting room and sat down.  A nurse followed her in and said "Are you all right?”

"I just felt a little faint.” 

"Let me get you some water" and she brought a cup of water.  "Here, drink this.  I saw you come out of Mr. Connell's room and you didn't look good.” 

"I don't know what came over me.  I looked at all those machines and I just got real warm.  I had to get out of there. Not very good support for my friend, I'm afraid.” 

"Don't beat yourself up, honey.  The first time someone sees a person with all the machines makes a lot of people feel like that.  Trust me, you'll get used to it and will be able to go in and it won't bother you at all.”

"Gee, I hope your right.” 

"You will.  Just drink the water, taken a deep breath and relax.  Your friend will be out soon and she'll need you.  Take care.” 

"Thanks", Mary said. 

Mary sat and watched TV waiting for Elizabeth to come out.  When Elizabeth came out, she had tears in her eyes.  

"Are you okay?” 

"Yeah, I'm fine.  He just doesn't seem to be getting any better.  I don't know what I'm going to do tomorrow if things don’t change.”

"Let's worry about tomorrow when we have to.” 

"You’re probably right.  How are you feeling?  You looked like you were going to faint in there.” 

"I apologize.  I'm sorry I wasn't able to stay in there.  I don't know what happened.” 

"It's not easy seeing anyone like that.  If he wasn't my husband, I don't know if I would be in there.  It'll be another couple of hours before I can go back in.  There's an old diner down the street would you like to get some supper?"

"That would be great, let's go.”

 

Friday, August 24, 2012

Random thoughts


1. I went to the movies with Magellan to see Hope Springs.  Cute and funny.

2. Got a shingles shot.  My arm was red for over a week.  Oh well, hopefully, I won’t get shingles.

3. We had our front sidewalks leveled.  I’m happy we got that done.  Now I don’t have to worry about someone falling on them.

4. My dad’s brother passed away.  Wow, two uncles gone in less than a month.

5. I don’t know why I can’t figure out how to schedule posts.  I think I have it figured out and then it doesn’t post when it's scheduled for.

Mary #23

If anyone does Saturday Centus you might somewhat remember this story started as a centus.  In  June of 2010, I wrote a few chapters on Mary and then stopped.  I had so much to write about her, writing weekly for centus wasn't enough.  I then wrote and wrote until I had over 30,000 words so far.  In writing it though as I got further and further my original premise somehow got blown out of the water, ha, ha. I stopped writing her story in March of 2011.   I still haven't quite figured out how I'm going to work this out but I thought I would put out what I have so far.   Please remember this is a really rough draft and when I wrote it, I had no chapters.  Before I decided to put this on the blog I had to go back and figure out where I could make them.  I would suggest this is a terrible way of doing it lol.  The first chapter started on March 23rd, 2012.



23

Even though she had gone to sleep late, Mary was up by 7 a.m.  She got dressed, went downstairs and made herself some coffee.  When it was done, she grabbed a cup and went right to the sofa and started knitting. 

She was pretty close to being done when she got her coffee cup and got another cup of coffee.  As she was coming into the living room, she could see Jimmy's car pulling in.  She hurried to the back door and opened it as he was getting out of his car. 

"Hi Jimmy.” 

"I know Johnny told you what's been happening and by the time I got home it was too late to call.  We got back about 1 a.m., took Elizabeth to the hospital and stayed with her for a while.  It's not good Mary, not good at all.” 

"What exactly happened" Mary asked. 

"Can I grab a cup of coffee?” 

"Sure" she said.  

Jimmy poured himself a cup of coffee and then said "Can we go in the living room" and they went and sat on the sofa.

"This has pretty much been the vacation from hell.  Besides telling you about Mitch, I have something to tell you about Elizabeth.  I know you haven't been close for the last few years but I wanted you to know.  Donna and I found out the reason Elizabeth wanted us to go up to the cabin was, she wanted to talk to Donna about breast cancer.”  

Mary's heart sunk and she started to tear up.  

"Mary, there's no easy way to say this, Elizabeth has Stage 4 breast cancer.  Donna and I were pretty shook up about it when she told us.  Mitch is absolutely devastated.  He loves her so much.” 

"Oh no, Jimmy" and she started to cry. 

Jimmy put his arm around Mary and let her cry.  

"I've been such a bad friend to Elizabeth, Jimmy.”

"Forget about that now.  Elizabeth needs you.  We talked about you before she told us about the breast cancer and she said she really misses you.  She said you all kind of lost touch when you went to New York with your job taking up so much time.”

"Is that what she said" Mary asked.

"Yeah, that's what she said.  Really Mary whatever the reason you stopped talking it doesn't matter now.  Her world is falling apart.  She needs you.  After she told us, I could tell Mitch was going to start crying.  He decided to go out for a walk.  It had rained in the morning.  He went walking in the woods and we figure he must have slipped on something and fell down the ravine.  Hannah and Jake were outside goofing around when they heard a noise.  They went to investigate and they found him.  He hit his head on a rock and it was split open.  We called an ambulance right away.   He has been in a coma ever since.  Elizabeth decided to have him transferred to a hospital closer to home.  On the flight to the hospital, he had a heart attack and is now on a ventilator". 

"Oh goodness where is she now?”

"I just came from the hospital and I took her home.  She wanted to get cleaned up and then I'm driving her back there in a couple of hours.  Donna is there now sitting with Mitch in case a doctor comes in and says anything.” 

"Do you think Mitch is going to make it?”

"I honestly don't know.  That's why I think it would be a good idea if you went up there and saw her.”

"When Johnny called last night, I started making her this prayer shawl.  I should be done with it soon and I'd like for her to have it.    I'll come up to the hospital in the afternoon or tonight.” 

"Okay, but don't wait too long.  I'm just not sure how things are going to go.  I'm going to go home and check on the kids. I’ll take Elizabeth back then and I'll probably stay with her until you come.”

"Okay, I'll see you there later.  Thanks Jimmy for coming and telling me.” 

"Mary, I know I'm not as close to you as Johnny is but I love you" and he hugged her. 

"I love you too Jimmy" and she kissed him on the cheek.  He went out the back door and left. 

Mary grabbed another cup of coffee and went back to knitting. She hoped the prayers she said while making the shawl would help Elizabeth with whatever she had to face.   When she finished, she went upstairs and took a bath and then put on jeans and a t-shirt.  Fixed her hair and put on make-up and decided to head out to the hospital. 

Mary grabbed the prayer shawl and went out back.  Just as she got in her car, her phone rang.  

"Hello", Mary said. 

"Hi it's me.” 

"Eli, I was just getting into my car.  I can't talk long.” 

"I won't keep you.  I wanted to make sure you were okay after yesterday.” 

"I'm just a little flustered right now.  My friend's husband is in the hospital in a coma and I was headed out to see her.” 

"That's terrible, anyone I would know?” 

"Her name is Elizabeth and her husband's name is Mitch Connell.  Do you know them?” 

"I've met them a couple of times at your folks place over the last couple of years.  They would come to pick up corn from your dad.  Elizabeth would stop and pick up sunflowers from him too.  They seemed like a nice couple.” 

"Yeah, Elizabeth is wonderful.  I'm so worried about what's going to happen.  I figure she could use a friend about now.” 

"I'll let you go and you get on your way.  Be careful and take your time.  Call me if you need anything.” 

"Thanks Eli" and she hung up the phone.

Mary drove out of the driveway.  She was excited and nervous about seeing Elizabeth.  She hoped Jimmy was right and Elizabeth would be happy to see her.  
 

Friday, August 17, 2012

Mary #22

If anyone does Saturday Centus you might somewhat remember this story started as a centus.  In  June of 2010, I wrote a few chapters on Mary and then stopped.  I had so much to write about her, writing weekly for centus wasn't enough.  I then wrote and wrote until I had over 30,000 words so far.  In writing it though as I got further and further my original premise somehow got blown out of the water, ha, ha. I stopped writing her story in March of 2011.   I still haven't quite figured out how I'm going to work this out but I thought I would put out what I have so far.   Please remember this is a really rough draft and when I wrote it, I had no chapters.  Before I decided to put this on the blog I had to go back and figure out where I could make them.  I would suggest this is a terrible way of doing it lol.  The first chapter started on March 23rd, 2012.


22

Mary finished eating and put her dish in the sink and turned off the light.  She went and lay down on the sofa.  I'm glad to know Johnny didn't know about Sherry and just didn't tell me, she thought.

Jimmy will be back soon and I can talk to him and find out if he knew about Sherry.   I'll have to figure out a way to find out if he knows anything about Elizabeth too without being obvious.  What will I do if she's sick, Mary wondered.  She must be happy if she's still married to Mitch.  I mean it happened so many years ago.  Mitch and I were both so drunk.  When I woke up, he was just there lying next to me - naked.  We both were.  I left before he woke up and got ready for the wedding.  The next time I saw him he was waiting for Elizabeth to walk down the aisle.  He never even glanced at me showing any recognition that anything had happened the night before. 

Mary woke up the next day to the sound of the TV blaring and realized, she'd slept on the sofa.  She got up and fed Lulu and made herself some coffee and took it on the porch.     

Her phone starting ringing and she went to get and walked back outside.  

"Hi Johnny, That was fast.  You read the diary already?”

"No, that's not what I'm calling about” he said frantically.  “Jimmy just called and they are all coming back.  Mitch fell down into a ravine and is in a coma.  I don't know all the details.  They are flying him back to the hospital here and the rest all are driving back.  They should be home tonight sometime.  I thought I'd let you know.”

"How awful, did anyone else get hurt?” 

"Not as far as I know.  I guess he went walking by himself.  Jake and Hannah found him.  It must have been so awful for the kids.” 

“I hope everyone will be all right.  Let me know when you hear something else.” 

"Okay, I'll talk to your later Mary, Bye.”

"Bye, Johnny".

Mary sat stunned at this twist of events.  She could only imagine how Elizabeth must be feeling right now.  Her heart ached for the closeness that she and Elizabeth once had.  She wanted to help her friend through whatever was to be.  She wondered if she should go to her when she got back.  Would Elizabeth even accept her help after the way she’d distanced herself from her over the years?  She would wait until Jimmy got back and talk to him and see what he thought. 

Mary went upstairs and half-hardheartedly changed her clothes.  She didn't really feel like doing anything now.  She was too preoccupied.  She picked up her cell phone and put it in her pocket and walked outside to the barn.  She went to her Pa's workshop and looked at the desk and thought, Pa would have liked that I finished this. 

She came out of the barn and felt restless.  She walked to the back of the fields and into the woods to the creek.  She sat down on the rock, closed her eyes and prayed for Elizabeth. 

Her cell phone went off and she jumped.  "Hello, Johnny?” 

"No, it's Eli.  Are you okay?” 

"Yes why?” 

"I stopped over because I wanted to borrow something of your dad's and the door was open but there was no answer.  Did you go somewhere and forget to close the door?” 

"I'm here but I'm in the woods.  I needed a place to think.” 

"Did something happen?” 

"That's an understatement" she said. 

"Would you like someone to talk to?”

"Thanks, but I want to be by myself for now.  You can take whatever you need of Pa's.” 

"Okay, I'll call you tomorrow to check up on you.” 

"Okay" and she hung up.

Mary rolled her pants up and took her shoes off and stepped into the cool creek.  She closed her eyes and was transported back to two little girls playing in the brook promising that they would be best friends forever.  She started crying uncontrollably wishing that she hadn't broken the promise.  She sat down on the rock and calmed down and thought she may have broken the promise but she can make amends.  She put her wet feet in her tennis shoes and walked slowly through the woods and back to the fields.   She was glad when she saw Eli's truck was gone. 

She walked back to the house and poured herself a glass of wine.  She took it and sat on the front porch and just stared out to the road.  She needed something to do that would calm her down.  Then she remembered her Ma's knitting stuff.  Knitting always calmed her Ma down.  She went upstairs and got the knitting needles.  She looked at the yarn that was there.  She picked two colors pink and mulberry.  She decided to make Elizabeth a prayer shawl.  

She knitted the rest of the afternoon on the front porch and then was a little hungry.   She hadn't eaten all day and was feeling a little faint.  She went inside and made herself a big salad with cheese.  She sat at the kitchen table hardly tasting what she was eating but she knew she had to eat. 

When she was done, she put the dishes in the sink.  She sat on the sofa and started to knit again.  Mary thought I’m getting done pretty fast considering I haven’t knitted for a bit.  I bet I can get this done by tomorrow if I keep working on it and she did. 

It was about 1 a.m. and she finally stopped.  

"Lulu, I guess I'm not going to hear anything tonight.  I'm going to go to bed and get up early so I can finish this shawl.  It should only take me a few more hours and I'll be done.  It's coming out wonderfully.” 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Random thoughts



1.   I finally went to the Horseshoe Casino downtown.  Went with Magellan.  Pretty fancy.  Lost $25.  Ate at the buffet, yummy!!

2.   Went down on the rapid.  We had to get tickets out of machine.  After struggling trying to figure it out, finally a kid helped us, ha.  Does that mean we are old or are they too complicated?

3.  Speaking of Magellan, she might have to start treatment soon.  I'm going with her on the 27th for a second opinion.  Concerned.

 4.  Lived in our home for 26 years, recently got mail for the old owner of our home, wth?

  5.  My uncle passed away.  First time I ever heard taps played live with a bugler and a 21 gun salute.

 6.  Despite the drought our garden's done pretty well this year.  Sick of cucumbers and getting enough tomatoes, ha. 
  
.       

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mary #21

If anyone does Saturday Centus you might somewhat remember this story started as a centus.  In  June of 2010, I wrote a few chapters on Mary and then stopped.  I had so much to write about her, writing weekly for centus wasn't enough.  I then wrote and wrote until I had over 30,000 words so far.  In writing it though as I got further and further my original premise somehow got blown out of the water, ha, ha. I stopped writing her story in March of 2011.   I still haven't quite figured out how I'm going to work this out but I thought I would put out what I have so far.   Please remember this is a really rough draft and when I wrote it, I had no chapters.  Before I decided to put this on the blog I had to go back and figure out where I could make them.  I would suggest this is a terrible way of doing it lol.  The first chapter started on March 23rd, 2012.

 
21

The next morning, Mary got up and looked out the window.  It was bright and sunny.  

"Lulu, let's go downstairs and I'll feed you.  I think I'm going to make some toast and coffee and have it outside this morning" and they both went to the kitchen.

She fed Lulu and made her breakfast.  They went to the porch and she sat on the rocker.  While she was drinking her coffee and eating her toast, she noticed Johnny's car pull into the driveway.  He pulled up to the porch and said "Don't you look like a lady of leisure sitting on the rocker in your bathrobe" and he laughed. 

She laughed too.  "What are you doing here" Mary asked.  

"I was on my way to work and thought I'd stop by to see if you needed anything.  I could pick it up on my way home from work.” 

"Other than some more wine and coffee, I still have a lot of food left.” 

"Okay, I'll bring it after work.  I'm not going to stay long because Sandy will have dinner waiting for me.  Have you been keeping yourself busy?" 

"Yeah, I have the dining room packed up.  Johnny, did you ever hear Ma or Pa mention someone named Sherry?”

"No, should I have?" 

"Probably not" she said.

"Okay, I'll see you later when I get off work.” 

"See you then" and off Johnny went.

Mary went inside, went upstairs and got dressed.  

"Lulu, let's walk around the property a little bit.  It seems to have dried out quite a bit from all the rain.”  

She brought a pair of boots with her and put them on and they went outside through the back door.  As she walked through the field, in her mind's eye she remembered the corn stalks taller than her.  She also remembered the field with sunflowers.  Her Pa would plant hundreds of them and sell them to florists all over the county.  When she got to the very back, she looked at the house.  She remembered when she was little the fields with the crops seemed so much further from the house and seemed to go on forever. 

She decided to go in the woods behind the field where she, her brothers and their friends would play.  As she walked back further and further into the woods, she remembered them playing hide and seek.  She picked some wildflowers like she did when she was little.  She came to the little creek and sat on the big rock by the side of it where she used to sit and dream.  She closed her eyes and could almost see herself as a little girl taking off her shoes and walking in the creek, splashing and laughing.  Then she imagined another little girl that looked just like her and she smiled. 

"Oh Lulu, how fun it would have been to grow up with Sherry" and Lulu jumped on the rock to be close to her. 

After about an hour, she got up and started heading back.  She noticed the tree that she had carved a heart and MJ in the center.  She rubbed it with her fingers.  

"I remember when I did this Lulu; I was probably about 15 or 16 years old.  No matter what happened, I always wanted to have a piece of me left on the property.”

She got to the field and started walking back.  Instead of going in the house, she went to the barn to look around.  There was all her Pa's farm equipment.  In the back, he had a woodworking shop so she went to look in there.  It was pretty dirty, with sawdust all over the place.  There was a desk her Pa had been working on.  It looked like it was done all except for the sanding and staining.  Mary thought she could finish it and she grabbed some sandpaper and started working on it.  She spent all afternoon sanding.  When she was done, she wiped it all down.  Then she noticed some stain her Pa had on the shelf and she opened it up and started staining it.  Mary thought this would be a nice desk for her computer in her apartment.  She would have to mention it to Jimmy and Johnny that she wanted it.  When she was done, she went to the house.

Johnny should be here soon and she thought about what she would have for supper and then remembered the leftover Chinese food.  She pulled it out of the fridge, put it on a plate and put it in the microwave.  While she was eating, Johnny came to the back door and could see Mary sitting at the table and walked in.  He noticed right away the take out containers and said "Did you go out for Chinese?”

"No, a guest brought it.” 

"A guest? I thought you didn't want anyone to know you were here, who was it?” 

"Well, no one mentioned Eli would be coming by to cut the grass and I met him.  Last night he brought some Chinese food so I'm eating the leftovers.” 

"Oh yeah, I forgot about him” and he laughed. “Is there something I should know about you two?”

"Don't be funny wise guy" and Mary laughed too. 

"Here's your wine and some coffee.  Remember when you asked me if I knew a Sherry?  I was thinking about it and I remembered hearing the name when I was little one time.  Ma and Pa were arguing something fierce and when I went into the room Ma mentioned the name and when they saw me, they hushed up.  Who is she?”

Mary took a deep breath.  "Brother, have I got something to tell you.  I know you can't stay but sit down for one minute.” 

Johnny sat at the table. 

"When I was cleaning Ma and Pa's room, I found three diaries with each of our names and pictures on them. I found the keys and when I read mine, I found out I was a twin but the other baby was stillborn.” 

"Huh?” 

Mary went and got her diary and showed Johnny the picture and let him read what their Ma had written. 

"I'm speechless.  How could I not remember this?” 

"You were only two years old, so I doubt you probably would have known anything about it.  Do you think Jimmy knew?"  

"I don't know but I really think all these years if he did, he would have at least told me.  I'm in shock." and Mary believed him. 

"That's kind of why I let Eli come over last night.  You know he had a child that died at birth; I thought maybe I could get some insight into why I was never told.” 

"And did you" he asked.

"Let's just say, I feel better after having talked to him about it a little.” 

"It's going to take me some time to grasp the idea that I had another sister, whoa." 

"Yeah, it takes some getting used to.  I'll be right back.”  She came back with Johnny’s diary and the key.  "Here's your book she said.” 

"I'm almost afraid to open it.  You don't suppose I was a twin too.” 

Mary laughed, "I don't think so Johnny but you never know.” 

"I'll take it home.  I have off tomorrow and Sandy has to work.  I think I want to read this when I'm alone.  I'll call you tomorrow after I'm done and let you know what it says" and his cell phone started ringing.  "Hello, Sandy.  Yeah I'm on my way.  I stopped and picked us up a bottle of wine.  I'll be there in just a little bit.  See you soon.” 

"I'm happy things are working out for you and Sandy.”

"Me too, but I have to go.  She doesn't know you’re here and if I'm going to keep my secret about you I better high tail it home.”  He got up and went out the back door. 

Mary yelled "I'll talk to you tomorrow.  Good luck with your diary.” 

 

Friday, August 3, 2012

Mary #20

If anyone does Saturday Centus you might somewhat remember this story started as a centus.  In  June of 2010, I wrote a few chapters on Mary and then stopped.  I had so much to write about her, writing weekly for centus wasn't enough.  I then wrote and wrote until I had over 30,000 words so far.  In writing it though as I got further and further my original premise somehow got blown out of the water, ha, ha. I stopped writing her story in March of 2011.   I still haven't quite figured out how I'm going to work this out but I thought I would put out what I have so far.   Please remember this is a really rough draft and when I wrote it, I had no chapters.  Before I decided to put this on the blog I had to go back and figure out where I could make them.  I would suggest this is a terrible way of doing it lol.  The first chapter started on March 23rd, 2012.

 
20


"Your dad and I never talked much about personal things only farming except I remember one time.  We were taking the corn to market and out of the blue he said, Eli, I know your hurting about your wife and baby. The only advice I can give you is to never stop talking about them out loud. It's painful but trust me, never mentioning it again is worse and that was all he said.  I wanted to ask him if that's what he did but I could tell he didn't want to talk about it.”

A tear came to Mary's eye and she said "I found an old diary that Ma made since I've been here.  I was a twin and my sister was stillborn.  Until I read it in the diary, I never knew about it.  According to Ma, Pa told her she wasn't to mention it to anyone.” 

"Mary, I'm so sorry.  I can certainly understand your dad's reaction.  For a while, I was so devastated I didn’t talk about Rachel and Andrew.  Then when I came here, your mom would ask me question after question about them.  She said it would help to talk about them to get it out and she was right.” 

"I can't understand if Ma did that for you, why she didn’t do that for Pa.” 

"She probably tried but your dad was from a different generation where they didn't talk about things like that.  He probably didn't want you to feel like you were missing out on something.  It doesn't make sense but it's something you’re probably never going to figure out.  I do know your dad loved you and was very proud of your job in New York.  He used to tell me all the time how much he enjoyed going to New York and staying in the hotel and seeing you do your job.” 

Mary smiled at first and then said.  "That's great but it's my fault they are dead.  If they wouldn't have been on that road after Christmas they wouldn't have gotten hit by that truck and they would still be here today" and the tears came.

Eli got up and knelt beside Mary and put his arm around her shoulder and said, "Mary, you can't blame yourself for that.  Things happen.  If it wasn't for that truck it could have been something else.  I believe the good Lord just thought it was their time.” 

Mary felt a little uncomfortable with his arm around her shoulder and said, "I'm going to get some more food, do you want some?”

They both took their plates in the kitchen.  She went in the fridge and got the wine bottle out and poured some wine for herself.  She got Eli some more water while he filled his plate up.  She put a little food on hers and they went back in the living room. 

As they sat down she said, "You got enough equipment because you could borrow Pa's if you need to?”  

"No, I'm all set.  Over the last couple of years, your dad helped me buy stuff" and they sat quietly and ate.  Eli could tell Mary was done with the conversation about her sister. 

"You want to see what's on TV" and she got up and turned the TV on.  

"Look Casablanca, have you ever seen it before?  I love it.” 

"Who hasn't seen it" and he laughed.  "I watch it every time it's on.  Looks like there's about a half hour left of it.  I'll watch the end with you and then I have to get going.  It's supposed to be nice tomorrow and I want to finish harvesting” and they both turned their attention to the TV while they finished up eating. 

When the movie was done he said, "Well, I'm going to get going.” 

They both got up and he took their dishes and put them in the sink and he said "Would you like to me to help with dishes before I leave?"

“No, you go.  I can handle it.”  She walked him to the back door and said "Thanks for the talk Eli; I’m going to think about what you said about my Pa tonight.” 

"I know it must be hard on you but you never know what you'll do in a given situation.  You just do the best you can and sometimes it's right and sometimes not.  Maybe next time I come, you might be willing to share about your other problem and we can sort through that.”

"Maybe" Mary said hesitantly and opened the back door.

 Eli went out, looked back and said "Bye.” 

Mary waved and shut the door.  She closed up the boxes with the leftover Chinese food and put it in the refrigerator.   Then she pulled out the bottle of wine and poured herself a glass and put it on the table.  She filled the sink with hot water and sat down at the table and drank her glass of wine. 

When she was done, she put the glass in the sink and washed the dishes looking out the kitchen window.  She still had the porch light on and could see that it had finally stopped raining.  When she was done, she went back into the living room and turned off the TV. 

She went upstairs, changed clothes and got into bed.  She wondered if she should tell Eli about her and Elizabeth.  No, she thought, I'm not ready for that.  Then she thought about what he had said about her Pa.  Eli's right, I guess.  Who knows how someone acts when they lose a child.  What good does it do anyway to be upset with Pa?  I wonder if Jimmy and Johnny knew about Sherry.  I might call Johnny tomorrow and tell him about the diaries.